Biomedical Illustration and Design
The Problem According to the US National eye bank, DMEK procedures have risen by an average of 85.2% in the last three years, while DSAEK procedural trends have remained level. The rise in DMEK can be accredited to better clinical results than DSAEK in patients with Fuchs endothelial dystrophy, a corneal degenerative disease. However, challenges relating to differences in procedural techniques in DMEK as compared to DSAEK are keeping some ophthalmologists from making the switch. One major challenge as expressed by ophthalmologists is the lack in visual materials to better understand the techniques required for proper graft placement. The graft is only 15 micrometers thick, so maneuvering a membrane of this thickness can be difficult, especially when it cannot be directly touched. The inner membrane of the graft, or the endothelial cells, will die upon direct contact. This poses challenges with getting the graft to unfold or move in a desired direction. Thesis Statement With a rise in Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) procedural trends for patients with Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy, standardization of the techniques to reduce the learning curve for corneal surgeons will help make the switch from DSAEK to DMEK more achievable. Standardizing DMEK is a series of 3D animations detailing 3 of the most efficient and effective DMEK graft unrolling techniques to reduce the learning curve for ophthalmologists. It also features an introduction to the anatomy of the cornea, the physiology of Fuchs disease, and a brief overview of DMEK for the lay audience.

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